She needed a fake fianc". I needed a roommate.
But now I want more than benefits…
There’s nothing fake about my love.Books by Author:Amy Brent Books
I trudged slowly up the stairs to my fourth-floor apartment, desperately hoping I didn"t run into my landlord. My rent was a week late, and he had already threatened to evict me if I didn"t pay up immediately.
I wiped sweat from my forehead. It had been warm all day, but nowhere could you feel it like you could in my building. The place was old, and the stairwells weren"t air conditioned. Even my apartment relied on fans to keep the air circulating. I"d never really liked the place, but it was cheap and I was able to have my own studio. That was why I"d jumped on it.
Cheap as it was, I had no clue how I was going to pay rent this month.
I jiggled my key in the doorknob and kicked the heavy wood in just the right place to make the door open. Then I noticed the crisp envelope that had been pushed through the mail slot. I picked it up and set it on the hall table for a moment. I needed a drink before I could face that.
Unfortunately, all I had was water, but at least it was cool.
I sat on the couch near the window, sipping my water slowly while staring at the envelope in my hand. Finally, I tore it open. As expected, it was from my prick of a landlord. My rent was late, but I couldn"t help it. I"d been unemployed for just over four weeks now. It wasn"t like I was just sitting on my ass, either. I"d been looking for a job all day, every day for weeks now.
At first, I"d scoured online jobs lists. Then I"d moved on to the newspapers. At this point, I"d resorted to walking into businesses with my resume in hand and calling up friends from college who I knew were in managerial roles at their workplaces.
But still, nothing had panned out.
I stared down at the letter from my landlord and choked on my water. This wasn"t just a request for my rent money like I"d expected. Instead, it was a lot more serious.
Evicted. The word stared up at me from the paper in big red letters. No matter how many times I blinked my eyes, it was there, just the same. Evicted.
I had seven days to get my ass out before they threw me out.
After the initial shock wore off, I started to get pissed. Sure, I understood I owed the money to the owners of the building. They weren"t running a charity, and I didn"t expect to live here for free. I was sure the upkeep for a building this size wasn"t cheap, either. But what had they ever done for me" They had taken a lot longer than seven days to fix the lightbulbs that were broken in the stairwell, and the elevator looked like it hadn"t been in service for years.
Besides, it wasn"t as though I was habitually late with rent. I was a great tenant. There had been one time I was late a few months ago, and it had been only one day late. And I"d had a good reason for it, too: The bank had screwed up routing one of my incoming paychecks and the money I"d been planning to pay my rent with had been deposited into the wrong account. I"d gotten it all straightened out as quickly as possible, making sure to keep my landlord in the loop during the process. No harm, no foul. And certainly, not my fault.
But apparently, that mistake earned me my one and only warning, and now they were done with me.
Tears pricked the corners of my eyes. What was I going to do"
I took a deep, quavering breath to calm my emotions before they got out of control. I wasn"t going to get upset about this. I was going to fight it.
I quickly called Brittany, my best friend since sixth grade. If anyone could help me brainstorm ideas, she was the one.
"What"s up, Abby"" she asked when she picked up the phone.
"I"ve had a terrible day." I sighed. "Can we get coffee" Or something""
"Of course!" she said immediately. "I just put the finishing touches on the Gilligan party. I can"t believe that"s tomorrow already; feels like I"ve been planning it forever now. But anyway, I"m free all afternoon. How about that little place with the colorful seats" What was it called" You know, the one in your neighborhood""
"Fiona"s," I said. "That would be great." I hated to drag her all the way out to my neighborhood when she lived on the other side of the city, but I"d been walking around all day and I didn"t know how much more commuting my feet could take.
"All right. I"m pretty close because of the venue the Gilligan"s chose, so I can be there in twenty minutes. Does that work""